The Dec employment report comes out tomorrow. My forecast for labor usage (aggregate hours worked for both the private and public sectors) is below. I expect labor usage over the next four months to stay within one percent of what it was in October 2009. By September 2010 (the last employment report to be released prior to the election), labor usage will still be below what it was when President Obama was inaugurated.
Note that labor usage here is not detrended. Thus, I expect labor usage to fall further below trend between now and the next election, and to be significantly more below trend than it was when President Obama was inaugurated.